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#2197679 - 12/14/13 07:53 PM When you learn a new song . . .
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3878
Loc: Northern England.
Does an old one drop off the end? . . . crazy eek
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"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2197695 - 12/14/13 08:26 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I can hardly play last week's lesson midway through this week.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2197698 - 12/14/13 08:28 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 601
Loc: Germany
Only if you don't keep it in your repertoire.
But then, if you don't keep music you learned in your repertoire (meaning, play it from time to time), it will drop off even if you don't learn new songs. wink
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Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
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#2197699 - 12/14/13 08:28 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
I don't know, because I don't learn songs...

Originally Posted By: peterws
Does an old one drop off the end? . . . crazy eek

No. Why would it?
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Polyphonist

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#2197701 - 12/14/13 08:34 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4269
Loc: Arizona.
I learn new tunes almost as fast as I lose them. That's okay however because I can learn them quickly and they always turn out differently. Sometimes, VERY differently! This is most likely due to learning some new things in the interim that I incorporate into the new version of the tune.

I love playing my old pieces because I liked them enough to learn to play them to begin with so re-learning them is like revisiting an old friend but this time with so much more to say!

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#2197745 - 12/14/13 10:10 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1246
Loc: Cleveland, OH
That's why I like recording my pieces for the ABF recitals. That way I can at least go back and remember the pieces I used to know, even if I can't play them anymore!
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

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#2197765 - 12/14/13 10:46 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
ElleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ, USA
I learned Clementi sonatina no 1 (1st movement) about 7 months ago. I hadn't played it since then. I'm now trying to learn all 3 movements, it took a few hours of relearning the 1st movement...but definitely a lot easier the second time around. I suppose it's kinda like riding a bike and I'm sure improved skills certainly helped too.
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Adult beginner since January 2013. My only regret is that I didn't learn sooner.

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#2197827 - 12/15/13 04:34 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5301
Loc: Italy
I definitely lose pieces if I don't keep playing them regularly. At the moment I have no repertoire, I have one piece I can play smoothly. The ones before are wobbly, and the current one isn't ready. I have to decide which ones I want to keep and brush them up.
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XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2197833 - 12/15/13 05:14 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
I made a conscious decision, during one of my early lessons last year, to "keep" at least five pieces from every year I'll be taking lessons. At the end of ten years (maximum amount of subsidised lessons I can get), that would give me a "repertoire" of fifty pieces.

Fifty pieces is nothing to sneeze at, even if some (perhaps most) of them will no doubt seem pretty basic, and perhaps no longer be worth keeping, by the time I'm at the end of my ten years. But my teacher is making it easy, since she requires all adult students to play two pieces a pop at a thrice-yearly class recital. So if I keep at it, I'll have 60 pieces at the end of ten years.

The repertoire I've built up in this way up to now contains a cute little Haydn Minuet, a Händel piece that's at about the same level of complexity (read: not very complex at all), two pieces from Burgmüller opus 100 (Limpid Stream and Ballade), two Grieg Lyric Pieces (one of which I played for the Grieg e-cital here, although it's better mastered now), a Little Prelude from the Notebook for Wilhelm Friedrich Bach, and the first and second movements of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (the third movement is, alas, still beyond my reach).

In addition, I have some pieces that I've never played at recital but still enjoy, and so I keep those relatively current, too. Among them are another one of Bach's Little Preludes, a third Lyric Piece from Grieg, five or six Burgmüllers (sometimes, I ditch one of those for a new one I've just learned), and one cute little snippet from a method book (The Joy of First Year Piano), called Moonlit Pagoda. I learned that one roughly thirteen years ago, during my first "serious" (but nevertheless prematurely aborted) attempt at learning to play the piano. It's almost laughable in its simplicity, to the point where I can "maintain" it just by thinking of how to play it about twice a year. But it still clings to me like a baby chimpansee to its mother.

In the near future, I hope to add to this list Chopin's Nocturne n° 19 (I'm about halfway there, and I need to get it up to snuff by the end of March if I want to play it at the next live recital, which I think is entirely possible). I'm currently toying with the idea of coupling that with Clementi's opus 36 n° 1 because, in contrast to the Chopin, it'll be easy to learn. And then I want to try my hand at Bartok's Sz. 56 (Six Romanian Dances), though I fear that at least some of those are not within my reach yet. I've also recently discovered a piece in Schumann's Album for the Young that sounds suspiciously like a song children sing here for Sinterklaas (our version of Santa, basically). So if and when I learn to play that, I'll probably keep it in my fingers just so I can delight future nieces and nephews (perhaps even future children) with something they can sing along to.

I find that once I've polished a piece up to recital standards, I can probably get away with playing it twice a month or so to keep it "in my fingers". Perhaps the regularity with which I need to play these things will increase as the music becomes more complex, but I could see playing them once a week or so on a rotating schedule, and still being able to keep about 20 pieces current at any given time: it would mean playing three of them every day, which would probably take me between 15 and 25 minutes in the morning, before leaving for work.

We'll see what happens when I get to a repertoire of more than 20 pieces ... or when I begin to play entire sonatas on a regular basis. I guess by then I'll have to have improved on my sight-reading skills to the point where I can sit down and just play a vaguely familiar piece, even when it's no longer being actively maintained.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

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#2197864 - 12/15/13 08:04 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 641
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: peterws
Does an old one drop off the end? . . . crazy eek


I would say if you have a backup repertoire of say those must know tunes like "Happy Birthday", "Auld Lang Syne", "Silent Night", "Twinkle Twinkle" (if you have grand kids), your wife or mother's favorite tune (you get the idea), and you learn those tunes not by sheet but by listening for the correct chord changes as the melody rolls along, book it those tunes will never drop off the end. You may not even play them the same way every time ... then the fun becomes not only if you can play "Happy Birthday" at the drop of a hat, but how many different ways you can think of to play it.
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Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2197892 - 12/15/13 09:53 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
torquenale Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 367
Loc: Italy
If I don't play pieces, I lose them. So I put the ones I like most in a list (not a long one, for the moment) of pieces I'm currently able to play, and I play them at least twice a month, ideally once a week but usually I don't have much time for practicing and I choose to study new material.
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#2197893 - 12/15/13 09:53 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: Rerun]
Sand Tiger Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1100
Loc: Southern California
The book The Musician's Way suggests allocating 20% of time to old pieces. In that 20%, yes some pieces eventually drop off as pieces get added. However, it is not what some folks do, learn a new piece and exclude most everything else, and then only be able to play that one.

I have used the 20% suggestion from the start and like it. Some on the forum do it a very simple way, by devoting one day a week to old pieces.
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#2197901 - 12/15/13 10:13 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 365
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Peter, long term memory has perhaps no limits with regards of its total capacity. But when you try to play an old tune you just don't use long term memory,other kinds of memory are involved. In short: we all have to remember the song itself and then remember how to play it, which are different things. One is storage, the other is recovery.
Various authors say that if you complete 3 cycles of learning-forgetting-relearning you'll master the piece forever. There's no sense in keeping all known tunes at your porch, it's just not possible. Their place is the courtyard.
The more long and complex they are, the lesser you can keep at a given time.

What is true, is that for our SHORT term memory, as soon as a new stimulus is attended, a previous one is missed, at least if we exceed its average capacity, which is of 7 items.
This is the foundation of those methods that insist in cutting music pieces into chunks. The shorter the chunk, the better and faster you learn it. The better you learn the more you remember and re-learn if needed.
Go Kantmusictuition and read some posts about this much, or directly to their source: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...rd%20teach.html

Finally, if anyone is interested in a free summary of piano practice techniques I've written one (spanish, 70 pages). It's a selection of texts I've been reading here and there, mostly from pianostreet, musicalfossils, chang's book and others that I transllated into spanish.


Edited by mabraman (12/15/13 10:17 AM)
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2198070 - 12/15/13 04:38 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
angelsong Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 81
Loc: NW England
So relieved to see this question - and the responses. This has certainly been my experience, though I didn't quite recognise it until I read this question - thank you. There's the tendency to assume that perhaps I'm just a bit 'thick', considering I spent hours/days on some of these pieces, playing them over and over again till they were 'perfected' (relatively speaking), only to find that when I return, it's like starting all over again. Just to know that I'm not alone in this is so helpful! Thanks.

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#2198203 - 12/15/13 08:16 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: angelsong]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1775
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: angelsong
So relieved to see this question - and the responses. This has certainly been my experience, though I didn't quite recognise it until I read this question - thank you. There's the tendency to assume that perhaps I'm just a bit 'thick', considering I spent hours/days on some of these pieces, playing them over and over again till they were 'perfected' (relatively speaking), only to find that when I return, it's like starting all over again. Just to know that I'm not alone in this is so helpful! Thanks.


Maybe we are all thick, lol

Like Casinitaly who very bravely stated she has no repertoire I am in the same category. Pieces I learn and those that I polished as best I can for the recitals are all gone. I could of course maintain them but don't have the enthusiasm once I get them as far as I can take them. Perhaps that speaks to the different types of learners we are. At the moment I prefer the challenge only and then happy to move on.
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2198205 - 12/15/13 08:21 PM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: Polyphonist]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1775
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I don't know, because I don't learn songs...

Originally Posted By: peterws
Does an old one drop off the end? . . . crazy eek



New Year's resolution time coming up soon, why not learn a song
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I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2198328 - 12/16/13 02:46 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
mabraman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/12
Posts: 365
Loc: Valencia, Spain
Again: it's not about you as learners.
The brain will do only what you teach it to do, and only if you teach it well.
Are you teaching your brains so as to keep a repetoire?
If not, pieces will fade away. What is not repeated/reinforced in a particular way is forgotten. Fortunately!
Imagine you could not forgett anything...that would be horrific.
(Borges wrote a great short story about this, "Funes the Memorious").
http://www.srs-pr.com/literature/borges-funes.pdf


Edited by mabraman (12/16/13 02:53 AM)
_________________________
Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
Kawai ES7.

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#2198347 - 12/16/13 04:35 AM Re: When you learn a new song . . . [Re: peterws]
wouter79 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3630
I drop the pieces after completing them. Learning new pieces takes all my time.

And anyway, I think it's better to drop a piece after working hard and long on it. The piece kind of wears out and keeping it playing does not help to refresh it.

That said, I'm sure the piece is not 'forgotten'. It's only the recall that gets worse. If you try to pick up the piece again, it goes really quick.
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